Health Minister attends life sciences event at Charnwood Campus

Date posted: February 7, 2024
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Photo of Andrew Stephenson CBE MP speaking at Leicestershire Innovation Festival at Charnwood Campus

A Government Health Minister joined the first life sciences event of Leicestershire Innovation Festival 2024.

Andrew Stephenson CBE MP visited Charnwood Campus to join more than 100 delegates considering innovation as a potential solution to health disparities and inequalities. Attendees included senior representatives from the NHS, as well as clinicians, researchers, and life science business leaders.

The discussion event on Tuesday was designed to consider the impact on the physical and mental wellbeing, and life chances, of individuals in most-impacted groups. It also recognised the work and growth of the life science organisations clustered around Charnwood Campus Science, Innovation and Technology Park in Loughborough.

Mr Stephenson went on to tour contract development and manufacturing organisation Kindeva Drug Delivery, which recently invested £30 million into its inhaler sustainability programme in Loughborough.

The Minister for Health and Secondary Care said:

“Programmes like this are a fantastic opportunity to bring together government, industry and academia to collaborate, discuss and drive forward innovation. Embracing cutting-edge science and technology are vital to boosting our public services, improving people’s lives and making the UK a life science superpower.”

The Leicestershire life sciences sector produces £900m of GVA and accounts for 14,200 jobs, according to research carried out on behalf of the LLEP by Cambridge Econometrics in 2021. Its growth is exceeding the UK average.

Tuesday’s festival event was chaired by Professor Dean Fathers, who talked through how the Midlands Engine and partners are helping drive the region forward through developing an innovative, productive, and healthy work community for the Midlands.

Also speaking were:

  • Caroline Trevithick, CEO, NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, on strategy for improving regional health equity.
  • Prof Manish Pareek, University of Leicester, on the university’s new Development Centre for Population Health, which aims to apply world-leading health research.
  • Seán Meehan, Health and Wellbeing Lead, Office of Health Improvement and Disparities, on help available to life science companies.

Specific examples of innovation aligning with NHS system needs included advances in wound care from 3M, and sustainability projects from Thermo Fisher Scientific and Mill & Reeve.

Gosia Khrais, Commercial and Marketing Director, Charnwood Campus, and Director at Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), said:

“The success of this event again highlighted the importance of the life sciences sector and thought leadership in our region.Being able to bring together the calibre of speakers today as a driver for change is exceptional.”

Professor Dean Fathers, Chair of the Midlands Engine Health, Care and Life Science Board, said:

“The learning from today will develop into action that will ensure those attending remain at the forefront of transformation and positive impact on the lives of people we serve.”

Dave Stevens, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Kindeva, said:

“We are grateful to the Minister for his interest in our ongoing work towards solving some of today’s most pressing health inequalities.”

Leicestershire Innovation Festival 2024 runs to 15 February, with more than 20 events taking place around the city and county.

The 2024 festival is led by the LLEP Business Gateway Growth Hub.

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